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Blue lump on dog's belly.

Species: Dog
Breed: Lab Mix
Age: 2-5 years
Around Christmas, I noticed a blue-tinted bump, about 3 mm in diameter, on my dog's abdomen. It's about 2 inches above where her spay incision ended, and about an inch below her sternum. It is not near any nipples.

My vet saw it at the beginning of January and said it was nothing. She guessed that some foreing body (a seed, splinter, etc) had worked its way under the skin and that it would resolve in time. She didn't aspirate it, and I did ask about that but she did not think it was necessary.

This was 3 weeks ago. I had a hard time believing this foreign body hypothesis at the time, because there has been no inflammation in the area. In any case, it is still there, and I am growing more and more concerned. It has not changed in the month since I've noticed it, but it is driving me crazy not knowing what it is. I am emailing some pictures, but it is kind of difficult to get an accurate shot.

In terms of behavior, it is attached to the skin, but it is not directly on the surface of the skin. It does not appear to be attached to anything subcutaneously. It is fairly firm.

Any ideas on what it could be? Does it sound like cancer? Should I take her in to have it checked again or wait a little while longer?

Thank you!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your great description of this lump. You're right...the photo is a little blurry, but it still helps.

blue lump on dog's abdomen

I always have to add a disclaimer when I answer questions about lumps over the internet and that is to tell you that my answer is conjecture only. I can't make a diagnosis, but I can give you my thoughts on what you wrote.

My gut instinct is that this is nothing to worry about. I'm guessing it is a cyst of some sort. I've had several patients with lumps like this that when aspirated contained a tiny amount of dark fluid meaning that the lump was a cyst and nothing to be concerned about.

If this was really close to a nipple I may be a little bit more concerned.

It's also possible that this is connected to her spay incision. Often, when we finish stitching the spay incision we will pull the suture material up through the skin a little ways away from the incision. Sometimes this part of suture can cause a local reaction. However, I think this is less likely than a cyst because 2 inches is a little far.

With any lump there is the possibility for a tumor, but I would be surprised if this is what it is.

If you notice that this lump is getting bigger or bothersome at all then I would go back and ask the vet to aspirate it.

Otherwise, I'd just keep an eye on things. Then, at your next regular vet visit I'd ask the vet to aspirate it for your piece of mind.

Or, if it is driving you nuts thinking of what could be, then it may be worthwhile to just have your vet aspirate it anyway!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you so much for your input! Unfortunately, we are not due for a regular check up for quite a while (vaccines are due in November), so I know I will have to take her in before then to get it aspirated (for my peace of mind!!).

It is not bothering her or changing at the moment. It is actually extremely hard for me to even find when I want to check on it. Do you think it is safe to wait a week or two before going into the vet? I don't want to go in too soon unless it is an emergency (I have been there a lot already this month), but I also don't want to wait too long. I would like to wait until the beginning of February, so it's been a full month since the vet saw it, but only if that is a safe choice.

My major concern is that it could be something like a subcutaneous hemangioma/hemangiosarcoma (since it's bluish), but when I asked my regular vet that at the beginning of January she said that was extremely unlikely given the presentation.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I have no problem with you waiting a week or two or even longer to have this checked. I really doubt that this is a hemangioma. It's definitely not hemangiosarcoma. Sometimes reading things on the internet can instill a lot of fear!

I would say wait for a few weeks and then if it hasn't gone away have it checked just for peace of mind.

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.